Life at the end of the road

July 16, 2008

The only power on Raasay

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:45 pm

It was refreshing to wake this morning and see both battery banks fully charged and the heating on in the porch.

The good steady wind through the night had topped up both the 12v and 48v battery banks and the heating was on in the porch for the first time in weeks. The heating only comes on when the 48v battery bank is fully charged and today it was roasting in there. We should really be dumping our excess power into heating water which is more controlable but I’m not that organized yet. I set off for work at around 6:30 and couldn’t help but smile when I reached Tarbert and found the two ‘Scottish and southern energy’ pickups still there with the three tents. A few guys with bleary eyes were just breaking camp and I stopped to joke with them about cut backs on expenses! The whole of Raasay has been awash with SSE Land Rovers, pickups, cherry pickers, Unimogs and staff for the last few days. Unlike allot of the work that seems to go on, SSE seem to be getting to grips with ‘joined up thinking’ and doing all of the work at once to minimise disruption to the poor souls that buy electricity off them.

Please could someone explain this to me

Continuing down a very misty ‘Calum’s road’ and onto work past the huge 450KVA generator and it’s 20,000lt fuel tank

This for powering up Raasay when they shut down Braes on Skye to do some similar work there. Passing the fuel tank ( the container on the right ) I couldn’t help but think that if it was full the fuel would probably be worth more than the genny. Anyway arriving at work I was greeted by more joined up thinking by SSE as they’d chartered the landing craft ‘Eilean na Mhaill’ to bring some of their vehicles over again to minimise disruption to their consumers, which was just as well because I think today proved to be a record for the Raasay ferry ( certainly it was for our shift ) with 124 cars and 9 commercials and I’m not talking Transit vans but skip lorries, tippers and cement mixers. Still it was refreshing to see them spending some of their huge profits, it allways strikes me as odd that living in the wettest, windyest place in europe using electricity generated from the worlds most reliable renewable energy rescource. With dams that were built 50 years ago and must have paid for themselves a hundred times over that the people in the North of Scotland pay the same extortionate price for their elecrticity as everyone else. It also strikes me as being somewhat bonkers insomuch as most people (until recently) found it cheaper to heat their houses with oil from half way round the planet than stuff that comes through a 13amp socket in their house. Not that this really affects us as we generate our own and unlike the rest of Raasay had power all day.

This was actually taken in the evening as the ‘Eilean na Mhaill’ was clearing the last of the traffic, but it’s 6:30am now and I’ve gotta go to work!

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